As evidenced by the U.S. House of Representatives passage last Friday of a tremendously meaninful bill and the Senate’s anticipated action, serious attention at the country’s highest level is finally being paid to climate change. The bill’s “cap and trade” policy is an important and reasonable step in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. There will be economic incentive that should cause producers of energy from coal and natural gas to tackle reducing their pollutants.
However, federally funded crash programs to figure out how to capture and store CO2 from coal and natural gas are still necessary. If the problem of CO2 emisssions can be solved, for example, the proven technology of liquid fuel from coal, as used by the Germans at the end of World War II should be reexamined and expanded upon.
And already on the table is T. Boone Pickens program that will quickly give us 20 percent of our electricty. To implement it he is asking for three things. First, a 10-year extension of the renewable Production Tax Credit so that he and other manufacturers can do long-range planning and investment. Second, transmission corriders such as were put in place for highways when President Dwight Eisenhower called for an interstate highway system in the 50s. Third, fuel for the federal government’s 200,000-vehicle fleet should be switched from gasoline to natural gas. Congress and the president should act on requests such as these from all energy entrepreneurs.
There is also ongoing silliness. To wit, a recent comment in the Minneapolis-based StarTribune to an article about Minnesota summers becoming hotter if global warming is not controlled:
I always wanted to move south for my retirement years. Now the south
is moving north instead. Thank God for global warming. It’s sure a lot
better than the global cooling threat of the 1970s. Just think, only 35
years ago, the scientific “community” was convinced that we were about
to enter a period of global cooling…
Whether an attempt to be funny or not, the comment pretty well illustrates the foggy thinking and misinformation that must be dealt with as we try to solve a serious problem—Jim Frost.